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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XI).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Wan, adj.2 Also: wane, waine, wann, van. Compar. wanner. [ME and e.m.E wan (a1300), wanne (Cursor M.), wane (?a1400), wann (1483), OE wann, wǫnn.]

1. Pale or sickly in appearance, pallid, livid. Freq. in collocation with pale. c1420 Wynt. v 622.
Owt at his mouth thai gert hym cast That paddog wyth a blob off blude, Wan made all but fassown gud
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2465.
The keipar off the fe For verray wo woxe wanner nor the weid
a1500 Henr. Orph. 350.
Erudices he knewe, Lene and dedelike, pitouse and pale of hewe Rycht warsch and wan [Bann. wane] and walowit as the wede
1490 Irland Mir. I 159/33.
In His graf and sepulture pale and wane, bot in His resurreccioune sevin tymes brichtare than the sone
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1045 (Asl.).
The flude of sorow sa ferslie in me foundis Seand thé wery & wan for wofull woundis
a1497, 15.. Gray MS v 22.
Til this lif cum we neuir agane, Bot also smal as droppis of rane, Wan wormys so schill sall all to schow ws
14.. Orphius 46.
The quein vas bayth van and paill
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 101.
Wan visaged widdefow
c1520-c1535 Nisbet 1 Peter ii 24.
1533 Boece 186a.
Throw fere he grewe paill and wan
1579, 1617 Despauter (1549) 28.
Pallidus, vel mortuus, verray wan or deid
c1590 J. Stewart 249 § 196.
His tender arms both bruissit blew and van
1595 Duncan App. Etym.
Palleo, liveo, to be wan, or paile

2. Miserable, dismal, sad. c1450-2 Howlat 964 (A).
I couth nocht won in to welth wreth wast, I was so wantoun of will, my werdis ar wan
15.. Clar. iii 689.
Scho in middes of the wyld forrest Full waine of wemen was left hir alone
a1568 Bann. MS 256b/6.
The suth is so be God my Jo I will fenȝe na mair Thocht vmquhile grit wes appetite Thair is wan tyme of wair
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 126.
I will stryve aganis wan weird

3. Of natural phenomena, esp. water or weather: Dark, gloomy, grey. a1500 Henr. Fab. 458.
In froist and snaw, in wedder wan and weit
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1692.
Syne wynter wan … The grene garment off somer glorious Hes all to-rent and reuin in pecis small
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2810.
This reuer is sa deip and dangerous … Tell me … quhat facultie or gin Thow hes to bring thé ouer this watter wan
c1475 Wall. vii 488.
In the furd weill, that was bath wan and depe, Feyll off thaim fell
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1246.
Ouir mony gudelie plane we raid … Ouir waters wan, throw worthie woddis grene
1513 Doug. vii Prol. 130.
Persauyt the mornyng bla, wan, and har
1535 Stewart 314.
Ane cragie cost, Quhair … almost tha had all bene lost … Wan tydis so stark ran by the land
1535 Stewart 8031.
The riuer … befoir that wes rycht wan … all of reid blude ran

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"Wan adj.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Dec 2022 <>



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